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Sod Webworms

(Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

Size

Range from 3/4 to 1-inch long in the caterpillar stage.

Behavior

Sod webworms will feed on the upper root systems, stems, and blades of grass. They build protective silken webs, usually on steep slopes and in sunny areas, where they feed and develop. In early May, they pupate in underground cocoons made of silk, bits of plants, and soil. About two weeks later, adults emerge. Beginning in May, moth flights may occur until October. The moths, erratic and weak flyers, live only a few days and feed solely on dew. They are active at dusk, resting near the ground in the grass during the day.

Habitat

Adult sod webworms rest in the turf and on shrubbery during the day and randomly scatter their eggs into the grass in the late afternoon and early evening while flying in a zigzag fashion just above the turf surface. The eggs, which are deposited indiscriminately over the grass, hatch in 7 to 10 days. In South Florida, tropical sod webworms may produce new generations very quickly.

Interesting Facts

Sod webworms feed on lawns, golf course grasses, some clovers, corn, tobacco, bluegrass, and pasture and field grasses.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your yard? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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